Thursday, May 27, 2010

The day off

It's kind of weird. Weather can give and it can take. Today it gave me the day off. Thanks to the rain, the Spring Show has been officially postponed to next week.

When I woke up this morning, like every other day this week, I was STRESSED. How was I supposed to get everything done? Seriously! I didn't know.

In fact, when my printer jammed yesterday and I didn't have time to print the rest of the programs it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The date and times weren't printed yet. I was planning on ignoring the fact that I accidentally messed up some of the who-is-in-what-dance thing.

So, I find myself with something I never dreamed I would have....time. Time to figure out what I would do if I wasn't stressed out. I'm sure there are plenty of things, but I'm so relieved the rain decided to make my day.

Maybe I'll do something completely crazy.... like make cookies. Hmm, there are so many possibilities!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On the Horizon

I figured this would be my last day of semi-sanity this week, so here I am. After today, the confetti hits the fan.

Tomorrow is our annual Spring Show for the Boise Cloggers. Outside in our front yard, to be exact. And the weather? Hmmm, right this second it's raining. Rain and dancing outside don't mix very well. But you never know, we could get lucky and have some sun tomorrow.

It's open to the public. Just come on over at 5:30 and watch. If you live in the area, use the phone book to find us. If you live in Hungary or Utah or something, you're out of luck.

Anyway, it's a ton of fun. For years I participated in dance recitals where parents bought tickets to watch their kids dance in a auditorium somewhere. The director runs around trying to make sure that everything is perfectly perfect and heaven forbid someone talks backstage.

When it was my turn to run the show, I voted for the great outdoors. Clogging was designed to be performed outside. Our footwork only requires a floor. In fact, all seasons of the year we have had the opportunity to dance outside for different events. (Probably my all-time favorite being the World Special Olympics in freezing cold January.)

Having a dance recital outside turned out to be the perfect solution.

No tickets to buy. No dark wings to hide in before it's your turn to dance. And, best of all, you don't have to be so quiet.

It helps if the sun decides to shine, though.

Then first thing Friday morning I'm heading for Utah. The CONduit is this weekend. Click here to see my other post about it.

I'll be doing a reading at 2:30, a panel discussion "YA's Not Just Bigger Kids" at 6:00- both on Friday and a book signing Saturday at 4:00. If you're going to be there, please stop and say hi. I'm really looking forward to seeing my Utah friends again. Utah is awesome.

And for those authors who will be flying back from the BEA just in time for the CONduit, all I can say is how jealous I am.... and how someday I hope that it's me. A girl can dream.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beauty Secrets

The young don't know how beautiful they are.
The old don't know the grace and sophistication they've acquired.

I've read blog posts about the question.... Would you take a pill if it promised to give you the perfect body, but made you dumber, or would you take a pill if it promised to make you smarter, but uglier?

Over and over, the results come in the same. The majority answers with the pretty but dumb pill. I've never considered myself compellingly stunning, but there's no way I would take a pretty pill that made me dumber.

But on the other side, I'm not all that excited about taking a pill that made me smarter but uglier. I mean, I've got enough natural flaws to deal with, I really wouldn't want to add to it.

What about you? Would you take either one?

Here's my two cents. Everyone needs to take what they have and make the most of it. You can always educate yourself and become smarter. And I'm an advocate of taking care of yourself.

Maybe the reason I've been thinking about this is because of the BOOKEXPO AMERICA that starts today and goes through Thursday. Among the books listed are 13 beauty-related books. I guess I was surprised how many beauty books were there.

You can find Top-Model Secrets, What to eat to look Younger, and, yeah, even Teen Plastic Surgery Tips. Are we really that concerned with how we look? It kind of seems like it.

I get wanting to be pretty. I eat right, exercise, wear makeup and do my hair. But is that enough?

If you're willing to wade through the deep waters of beauty secrets, maybe it's not. People like me sometimes wonder what beauty-savvy people think when they see someone who doesn't know all the secrets.

Maybe ignorance is bliss.

Or maybe the ignorance is not seeing the beauty that is inherently already there.

Because the young don't know how beautiful they are and the old don't know the grace and sophistication they've acquired.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The end of a Long Weekend

We did so much better than survive. This year Nationals was amazing.

I'm just going to say it. We rocked the house.

There. Got it out of my system.

Considering how the odds were stacked, I am more than impressed at how everything went. And, thanks to fate or something better, I got to watch all of my teams dance even though they were scheduled to dance at the same time on two different stages. I feel very lucky.

And, I got to see the reason I do what I do. Every once in a while, my dancers will bring magic onto the stage that is impossible to describe. It's not just one person, or one thing but a combination of energy, precision and execution. And then magic happens. The audience hushes and the judges' mouths drop, then smile. For a moment the only thing worth thinking about is the dancing on the stage.

That kind of magic.

And it happened more than once. At Nationals, of all places.

And that kind of magic earned my cloggers the highest score in a category of ten teams in the Championship level. That kind of magic took even more firsts with even more teams.

We had a record year. Not only did I not forget anything crucial, I was amazed at how all of my dancers pulled it together. From youngest to oldest, they took the stage and got the job done.

Thanks, guys. Really. It was all I could do not to cry.

Thanks for reminding me of how much I love this sport and how much I love teaching. And most of all, how much I love you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Will Get it all Done....

It's that time of year again. Nationals is this weekend. Clogging Nationals. It's every year at Lagoon in Utah. And it's a blast. It's a lot of work and a really long weekend too.

Last night I had a dream that recurred about a dozen times. By the time I woke up, I was stressed and relieved at the same time. Relieved that it was only a dream, but stressed because- why was I dreaming this over and over?????

The dream....

I get to Nationals and I forgot the music. Forgot to make CD's of the music. Forgot to bring my computer that has all the music on it. Forgot my son's MP3 player that has all the music on it. And, of course, my husband's blackberry thing wasn't working either. No music.

You don't have to be a dancer to understand how catastrophic it would be to show up at the world's largest clogging competition without any music. Total disaster. And totally my fault.

Breathe in. Breathe out. It was just a dream. A dream I had ALL NIGHT!!!!!!

So I vowed as soon as my eyes opened that I would make all the CD's today and lug my laptop to Utah if it was the last thing I did. And bring extra music too. Uhm.... I always do. Always. In the last 18 years of going to competitions, I've never forgotten the music. This year will be no different.

Now I just know what tonight's dreams will be about. My kids will have forgotten their costumes or clogging shoes. I can see it already :-)

Monday, May 17, 2010

CONduit XX

I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in this year's CONduit.

What is it?

CONduit, Utah's longest-running and largest general science fiction and fantasy convention, is celebrating its 20th anniversay! CONduit XX: Space Pirates of CONduit will be held May 28-30, 2010 at the Radisson Downtown in Salt Lake City, Utah. Come celebrate with us!

Cool! And do you want to know who else is going?

Space Pirate Guests of Honor

Space Pirate Ghost of Honor

Space Pirate Featured Guests

Space Pirate Participating Guests

As you can see, it's going to be awesome! I talked to someone who has gone the last few years and he said it is a great place for any fantasy fan. Whether you're a writer, reader or video gamer, this place is for you.

It looks like I'm going to have to learn how to be a space pirate. Hmmm. I'll go find my eye-patch.

I'll be doing a panel discussion called YA's not just bigger kids. And, I'll have a chance to read something brand new- so new the world has never seen it. Alvor will be on sale too. Catch my book signing Saturday at 4:00.

It really is going to be a blast. I hear some people even dress up as their favorite fantasy/sci-fi characters. It's worth going just to see that.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Store of Stories

I'm figuring out that the deeper I get into the writing world, the less I know what I can say to the whole wide world. Before, when practically nothing was ever on the line, I would tell every random detail. Now that I have things simmering in so many pots, I don't really know what's safe to say.

Probably nothing.

But I will say this....

I love writing different genres. Love it. And the more stories I write, the more opportunities I feel I have. No, my dreams haven't come true yet. Not even close. But with every new story I get to start the journey to publication all over again. A good thing and a bad thing.

For those of you who are trying to find an agent, you will empathize with how time consuming and difficult it is. Not to mention the roller coaster of emotions that inevitably go with it. And though I've gone through my share of ups and downs over the last two years, for some unexplainable reason, I'm feeling up right now. Like there's hope on the horizon even though I don't know what form it will take.

Will I get my dream agent? Will I get my dream publisher? Will I ever find someone who loves my next book as much as I do?

Who knows. That's why the path is such a winding one.

Even so, I know of no better therapy than to write. Especially a new story that takes me into a world I think about all day long. And the cool new thoughts that come into play- I can't wait to write everyday.

And now that I'm on my fifth novel since I started my writing journey two years ago, I will say that even though publishing is a tough business to break in to, I'm mortally hooked. I can't stop. No matter how many rejections I get, I still have to write. I still have to keep trying to make my dreams come true.

And who knows. Maybe one of these days I'll get there.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Two Winners!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and entered the contest! It was great to read your comments. Using, the two lucky winners are....

The winner of the signed copy of Alvor goes to


The winner of the $20 electronic Barnes & Noble gift card is


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 9- Reasons to Celebrate- Giveaway!

It's May.... finally. I've been waiting all year. May 9 is the first anniversary of my book's release. To celebrate, we're doing a giveaway. After careful research, I've concluded that my prize will be.....

a $20 electronic Barnes & Noble gift card.

Oh, but that's only prize #1.

Prize #2- a signed copy of Alvor.

And, that means we're going to have two winners. How do you enter?

You get to choose. Two prizes means two ways. And two entries if you decide to do them both. The drawing will choose two winners regardless of which way you choose to enter.

You can tell me one of your favorite parts of my book or my blog posts (Any post at all from this blog. You can look through the history if you need and find something that tickles your fancy).

I know, I'm making you work for it, but it will be fun.... for me.

Anyway, other than that, you have to be a follower of this blog and put your e-mail address in your comment.

Mother's Day is this Sunday and I'm sharing the holiday with my husband's birthday. He was born on Mother's Day and though he claims a mother could ask for no greater gift on Mother's Day, I'm thinking his mom wouldn't have minded if he was a week early. It's one of those days when who makes dinner- the mom or the birthday guy? Who does the dishes? Who changes all the diapers for the day?

We usually end up sharing the load. Which is okay.

The contest winners will be announced May 12, 2010 at noon MST. I'll be using to draw the winners.

Good luck to you all, and take care.